Knute Buehler to Unite Rural and Urban Oregon


The reform-minded candidate says urban-rural divide is artificial result of political decisions made in Salem, outlines eight-point plan to achieve greater unity and shared prosperity across the state.


Coos Bay – With the unemployment rate in Oregon’s rural counties well above that in urban areas, and the $7.5 billion Jordan Cove Energy Project awaiting governmental support for the necessary permits from the State Capitol only 180 miles to the north, gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler announced today his eight big important goals to bridge Oregon’s rural-urban divide. He pledges to “close the achievement and opportunity gaps between rural and urban” and  be “a governor for all of Oregon, not a single region, political party or ideology.”


“As Governor, I will lead on issues critical to urban Oregonians while making a special effort to listen, learn and lead on issues critical to rural Oregonians. Our goal should be shared prosperity no matter who you are or where you live in our wonderful state,” said Buehler.


The Roseburg native’s plan includes support for the Jordan Cove Energy Project, which will generate hundreds of good-paying jobs on the South Coast and badly needed tax revenues for local towns and schools.


“I don’t believe that Oregon’s so-called rural-urban divide is an immovable feature of our natural landscape – like a mountain or a lake,” said Buehler. “This divide is a choice. It’s an artificial political divide made better, or worse each day by elected leaders in Salem. With each choice, divisions are healed or made deeper.”


Highlights from Buehler’s “One Oregon: Bridging Oregon’s Rural/Urban Divide” plan include:


A Governor Accessible to All:  Hold Town Hall style meetings in each of Oregon’s 36 counties, every year. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden pioneered this practice and it should apply to a Governor as well.


Ensure Geographic Diversity:  Ensure geographic diversity in both professional and volunteer policy-making appointments in state government. Direct state agencies to perform rigorous economic impact analyses of major new rules to ensure they do not unfairly burden rural communities.


Promote Rural Job Growth:  Support the $7.5 billion Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos County. The project will transform the South Coast and restore hope and opportunities across the region. It will create hundreds of good-paying jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenues for local schools and other services.


Defend Free Trade:  Oregon is a trade-dependent state. Defend trade and open markets for Oregon products no matter what President or Party controls the White House or Congress. Trade wars threaten 500,000 Oregon jobs.


Support High-speed Internet:  In today’s economy, high-speed broadband access isn’t a luxury – it is a necessity. Unfortunately, many rural Oregonians are still waiting for easy access to fast Internet service. State government should champion high-speed broadband deployment as an economic development imperative for rural communities.


Ensure Rural Career Education Equity:  Fully fund Ballot Measure 98, and ensure rural communities receive their fair share of career and technical education funding. Career education is especially important in rural communities to create economic pathways to success.


Champion Sustainable Forestry Jobs:  Oregon’s forest products and timber industries have a proud history and dynamic future. Champion forest workers, and state and federal policies to actively manage our forests to reduce fire risks and promote innovative wood products.


Support Water Projects:  As Oregon’s population has grown, investment in critical water infrastructure has not kept up. Streamline permitting for water projects, and use state bonding capacity to invest in facilities to better utilize and conserve water resources.


Click here for Buehler’s “One Oregon” plan.



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